Well, to be Frank, it's really awful ...

By David Hughes

Disc, August 21, 1971

FRANK ZAPPA: his new album is the biggest waste of time in the history of modern music, claims David Hughes (review right).

MOTHERS – "Fillmore East June 1971" (Reprise K4415 £2.05).
Masochism is not one of my favourite indulgences, and when I said last week that I'd not heard the Mothers since their very first trendy LP the last thing I expected was to be landed with this, undoubtedly the biggest waste of time, money, wax, instruments and hall hire in the history of modern music!

That'll get 'em going, says I to myself. That'll bring the blood-filled letters of abuse hurtling to my desk. But it's true. I listen to, and write about music because I enjoy it, and I pride myself in being able to derive enjoyment from every type of music. But this is just not music. It is simply (with two exceptions I will mention later) nearly 45 minutes of aimless jibberish, linked by occasional instrumental bursts from Zappa's guitar or the keyboards of Ian Underwood and Bob Harris.

The tracks are named individually but all roll into one long noise, much of it vulgar, most of it spoken or screamed by grown men! It has no musical merit and no artistic merit.

Quite what is supposed to be achieved? If I say people like Frank Zappa's madness because they think it's trendy to do so, I will be met with a storm of pompous arrogance, but it's true. What other reason could there be for a long dialogue about a male groupie "Do You Like My New Car?" or something called "Bwana Dik" which I won't attempt to describe but which should be clear enough from the title?

"Wittie The Pimp" ends the first side and starts the second, and as a fast instrumental with Zappa leading the way, is just tolerable. Don Preston's ramblings, on Moog for ''Lonesome Electric Turkey" are also tolerable though singularly uninspired.

To own up, there were two tracks I liked"Happy Together," which the two ex-Turtles revived, and "Tears Begin To Fall," which I reviewed last week as a single. But both were intended to be laughed at and not enjoyed, albeit they got the loudest applause from what seemed a bewildered Fillmore crowd, stunned into silence by total futility masquerading as music.

Quality trong>– seems to have been recorded quite well, Value 44 minutes 10 seconds.